Strings: A Love Story got a kickoff like few others last Wednesday. Violinist Ethan Lee and cellist Marcus Lee filled the beautiful, two-story atrium at the Viewpointe Executive Suites in Las Vegas with music so lovely I swear I saw a tear or two. Oh, wait. Those were mine.
And there was more. Juan Soto, who is a luthier by trade, brought several of his most beautiful (and expensive) violins for everyone to see. He also brought a violin in pieces, so we could get a glimpse what it takes to craft one of these amazing instruments.
And The Goodwich, that wonderful restaurant downtown that fortunately will travel, provided appetizers that were themselves works of art. And we had wine and Italian soda to top it all off.
So what about the book that was the excuse for the party? Well, everybody was polite enough to listen to me read a bit — the scene that takes place at a music festival in Santa Barbara in 1968.
I was especially honored that Hall Weller and Arturo Ochoa, who founded and continue to build the Foundation to Assist Young Musicians (F.A.Y.M.) attended the party. F.A.Y.M. not only provides violins and instruction to hundreds of at-risk and low-income children in Las Vegas, it also provides scholarships and supports young musicians who want to follow careers in music. Juan Soto supports F.A.Y.M., too, by keeping hundreds of stringed instruments in perfect condition.
And so, surrounded by strings and the people who love them, Strings made its debut. Here are some photos that can’t deliver the sounds but I hope capture a bit of of the enjoyment.